English Premiership

Crystal Palace thump Norwich

2015-08-08 19:36
Norwich City's Bradley Johnson, left, and Crystal Palace's Yohan Cabaye (AP)

Norwich - Yohan Cabaye marked his Crystal Palace debut with a goal as Alan Pardew's side opened the Premier League season with a 3-1 win at promoted Norwich City on Saturday.

Wilfried Zaha and Damien Delaney scored for Palace either side of half-time, but a Nathan Redmond strike had the visitors living on their nerves until France international Cabaye, a £10m acquisition from Paris Saint-Germain, found the net in stoppage time.

Norwich substitute Cameron Jerome had an equaliser ruled out for a high boot, allowing the Eagles to kick off their attempt to improve upon last season's 10th-place finish with victory.

Norwich had two debutants in their XI, Robbie Brady and Graham Dorrans, and the later almost announced himself to Carrow Road in style with an early 20-yard shot that whistled over.

The hosts went even closer shortly after when Steven Whittaker played a cross into the box from the right, only for a stretching Lewis Grabban to toe the ball the wrong side of the post.

But Palace grew into the game and after John Ruddy had saved at close range from Glenn Murray, they took the lead in the 39th minute when Jason Puncheon's right-wing cross was adroitly dispatched on the volley by Zaha.

The south Londoners tightened their grip on proceedings four minutes into the second half when Puncheon's deep corner was headed back across goal by Pape Souare and Delaney tapped home at the far post.

Palace had a debutant in goal in Alex McCarthy and he thwarted first Bradley Johnson and then Whittaker as the hosts pushed for an equaliser.

Norwich manager Alex Neil sent on Redmond and Jerome for Grabban and Alex Tettey, and the changes had an instant effect.

Redmond brought Norwich back into the game with a low drive from 25 yards in the 69th minute and Jerome thought he had claimed the equaliser moments later, only for his acrobatic effort to be disallowed.

The Canaries laid siege to Palace's goal in the latter stages, with Whittaker seeing a shot cleared off the line by Scott Dann and Sebastien Bassong being denied a penalty after a collision with Connor Wickham.

But Palace weathered the storm and after Ruddy had saved a late effort from James McArthur, Cabaye made sure of victory in injury time by converting a pass from McArthur.


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